The future of hard drive isn’t with moving parts, but rather with solid-state, like the stuff in memory cards, and if you want something beautifully designed, be prepared to pony up the cash.
Hard drive makers have come and gone over the years — anyone remember Maxtor? — but LaCie is one name that has stuck around, giving people who may not like the standard external box plugged into their computer a little taste of something different.
LaCie drives are usually not dramatically different from other brands out there for what’s inside, either, as it’s usually the aesthetics that change. When you see them, you generally understand that, because you’ll see shiny minimalist pieces of aluminium art or a rubberised puffy block designed to withstand drops, all with a hard drive inside.
But this year, LaCie is shaking things up not just externally, but internally, too, showing off a new drive this week to Australian tech writers.
It’s called the Chromé, which LaCie wants it to be spoken as “Chro-may”, but we suspect most people will just ditch the accented “e” and call it exactly how it looks: chrome.
And chrome is precisely what LaCie has crafted here, going from a design by Neil Poulton to deliver a solid unibody piece of aluminium — basically a single block of metal — polished to chrome, with a unique magnetic dock made from chromed zinc that allows the block to stand in place in a metal dock to look like one form.
The result is something that is very, very pretty, as if the liquid metal bad guy from Terminator 2 decided to give up his thirst for destruction and enter the field of design instead, crafting something based on his own form.
Granted, the Chromé is a fingerprint magnet, but it’s a sexy fingerprint magnet, at that.
Inside the Chromé, LaCie has also delivered on a future that the company has been running behind with, moving past the moving part hard drive for the first time with solid-state technology, equipping two sticks of 512GB M.2 SSD and sending the data across both for high speed transfers nearing one gigabyte (1GB) per second.
Technically, LaCie says this tops out at 940MB per second, and paired with USB Type C generation 2, the drive is super fast for getting files to and from a computer.
You will need a USB Type C connector to get these speeds, but even if you have an older USB 3.0 port, you’ll find a connector in the box.